Articles from September 2008

Despite widespread Internet rumors, George Clooney will not be taking the reins as the Lone Ranger

No sooner had chairman Dick Cook announced that the Disney studios would be making a new film of The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp appearing as the Native American Tonto, than rumors cropped up all over the Internet claiming that George Clooney would soon don the black mask and shout “Hi ho, Silver, away!” Not so fast, Kemosabe–the Internet buzz got so loud that Clooney’s press representative contacted to issue an official denial of the story. “Reports that George Clooney will star alongside Johnny Depp in The Lone Ranger are not true,” Clooney’s rep said. Ooops . . . .

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the news from CelebTV. For those who aren’t very familiar with the Lone Ranger saga, it began as a radio series in 1933, and Professor Gary Hoppenstand, editor of the Journal of Popular Culture, considers the Lone Ranger a quintessential American icon. As an avenger who helped the downtrodden and never accepted any payment for bringing justice, the Lone Ranger was “a hero made for radio audiences of the Great Depression,” Hoppenstand said on a recent broadcast of National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. The Lone Ranger might have operated outside the law, but he worked on behalf of law-abiding citizens when their local officials could not, or would not, help them. “In the 1930s, the perception was that there was a failure of capitalism,” Hoppenstand explains. “There was a failure of government to protect the American people from . . . what was, up to that point, was one of the worst financial experiences of American history.” A champion of the powerless who could right the errors of inept or corrupt civic leaders? Sounds like The Lone Ranger is a man whose time has come . . . again.

Many thanks to Fran-is-a-fan for sharing Robert Siegel’s excellent National Public Radio piece on the Lone Ranger. You can find it HERE, on the NPR website. There are lively discussions of The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum, and also on the Porch. –Part-Time Poet

ALICE IN WONDERLAND update–first photos from the set

The curious got their first glimpse of Tim Burton’s production of Alice in Wonderland as photos from the set appeared in the UK’s Daily Mail. The photo at left shows Tim giving some direction to Mia Wasikowska, the young Australian actress who plays Alice; to see a larger version, CLICK HERE. Helena Bonham Carter was also on set, not as a working actress but as doting mother to Billy Ray and 9-month-old daughter Nell. Both Burton children wore Victorian costumes and will appear as extras in their dad’s film. The UK press is reporting that Helena Bonham Carter will also appear in Alice in Wonderland, but as yet there has been no official announcement.

Johnny Depp was not at the location, but his participation in Alice in Wonderland was confirmed by Disney chairman Dick Cook at the recent Disney Showcase in Los Angeles. Cook told the crowd that Johnny would play the Mad Hatter, adding, “Believe me, any time this guy wears a funny hat, it’s good news for Disney.”

When the location shooting in Cornwall wraps at the end of September, production will shift to soundstages in Los Angeles, where Alice in Wonderland will shoot from October 14 through December 16. The Zone thanks Theresa, Bohemian and Emma for news and pictures; you can read more on the News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Disney offers plenty of swag–a rumored $55 million–to have Captain Jack Sparrow set sail once more

Disney has offered Johnny Depp $55 million to reprise his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in a 4th Pirates of the Caribbean film, according to Bill Zwecker of the Chicago Sun-Times. That payday surpasses the previous Hollywood record for a single performance, formerly held by Tom Hanks, who is currently receiving $49 million for Angels & Demons, the follow-up to The DaVinci Code. That’s a lot of swag, but there’s only one Johnny Depp, and with some $2.7 billion in the bank from POTC films, Disney knows a real treasure when they see one . . . . The Zone thanks Gilbert’s Girl for the news; you can read more about it on the News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp to play Tonto in Disney's new LONE RANGER, and Captain Jack Sparrow in a 4th PIRATES film

Is that Captain Jack Sparrow with a feather in his hair? Yes, and he’s standing next to Dick Cook, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, for a very good reason: yesterday on the stage of the Kodak Theatre, Mr. Cook announced that Johnny Depp will not only return for a fourth PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN film at some point, but will also play Tonto, the Native American sidekick, in an upcoming Disney version of the classic western adventure, THE LONE RANGER. Both PIRATES 4 and THE LONE RANGER will be produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

While rumors of a 4th POTC film have been swirling ever since AT WORLD’S END hit screens last summer, the news about THE LONE RANGER came as a complete surprise to Depp fans. The role of the Ranger himself is not yet cast (not an easy job, that), nor is any director attached to the project. The script is rumored to be by Ted Elliott and Terry Russio, who wrote the POTC films.

The Zone thanks Cindy for breaking the news and Emma for the photo of Johnny Depp and Dick Cook. We also thank the many members who have posted articles about the Disney announcements; it is all over the media today. You can read the Variety article HERE, and the Hollywood Reporter story HERE. There is a lively discussion of these Disney projects on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

The Zone congratulates Johnny Depp on his roles in ALICE IN WONDERLAND, THE LONE RANGER, and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4. We look forward to seeing him bring these characters to the screen–the more, the merrier! And we would also like to clarify one point: although Dick Cook’s announcement gave the impression that Johnny would go from one Disney project to the next, that is somewhat misleading; Depp fans should expect to see a couple of Warner Bros./Infinitum Nihil projects being scheduled soon, too. –Part-Time Poet

It's official! Johnny Depp will play the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton's ALICE IN WONDERLAND

Johnny Depp’s next film role will be playing the Mad Hatter in his friend Tim Burton’s new film version of ALICE IN WONDERLAND. The long-sought confirmation of months of rumors finally arrived today, as Disney chairman Dick Cook officially announced the news at the Walt Disney Studios Showcase, a daylong preview of upcoming movies and projects held at the Kodak Theatre. According to Variety, the Burton ALICE IN WONDERLAND, scheduled for release in 2010, “will be shot using 3-D and performance capture technology similar to that used for BEOWULF.” Australian Mia Wasikowska will play Alice, while Matt Lucas will play Tweedledum and Tweedledee. No other casting has been announced.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND will mark the 7th time Johnny Depp has appeared in a Tim Burton film. Their partnership began in 1990 with EDWARD SCISSORHANDS; other collaborations include ED WOOD, SLEEPY HOLLOW, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, CORPSE BRIDE, and last year’s Golden Globe-winning SWEENEY TODD.

The Zone thanks Theresa for breaking the news; you can read more about it on the News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

New photo–Johnny Depp and the Kids interviewed for DVD "Rock and a Hard Place: Another Night at the Agora"

That’s Johnny Depp smiling in a rehearsal studio in Florida on August 26, 2008, when he and the other members of The Kids were interviewed about the 1980s South Florida music scene by documentary filmmaker Diane Jacques. The footage will appear in the updated version of ROCK AND A HARD PLACE: ANOTHER NIGHT AT THE AGORA, which includes live performances and interviews with many of the bands who have performed at the Sheila Witkin Memorial Reunion Concerts. The documentary has not yet been released on DVD, but when it is, it will be a must-have for any Johnny Depp fan. To add your name to the mailing list, so you will be notified when ROCK AND A HARD PLACE is available for purchase, CLICK HERE.

The Zone thanks Christopher for sharing the picture of the Kids; to see a larger version that shows the full band, CLICK HERE. The Kids, left to right, are Joey Malone, Bruce Witkin, Beano Hanti, and Johnny Depp. You can read more about the interview and the Diane Jacques documentary on the Zone’s Pit forum. –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp to film Tim Burton's ALICE IN WONDERLAND in Cornwall? Fuggedaboudit!

Despite the nearly nonstop rumors that swirled around Plymouth in August, as soon as word got out that Tim Burton’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND was auditioning extras in Plymouth and would be shooting for two weeks in September at Antony House in Cornwall, Johnny Depp will NOT be on location there playing the Mad Hatter. Or anything else. Filming began on Monday, but there was no sign of JD. The Herald broke the news to its readers–after building up their hopes with numerous stories, that dream was not to be. “[S]adly we’ve got news for you,” said the Herald. “A spokeswoman for the production has told The Herald that the heart-throb [apologies for that, we assume the spokeswoman actually said “Johnny Depp”] won’t be filming at Antony, in Plymouth or indeed anywhere in the UK.” The spokeswoman added that Disney “had not even confirmed he would be appearing in the film at all.” A disappointment: better cancel those bookings to Cornwall, UK Zoners . . . .

The Zone thanks Emma for the article; you can read more on the News & Views forum on the thread entitled “Tim Burton’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND to shoot in Cornwall.” –Part-Time Poet

New photo–Johnny Depp accepting his George Melies Awards (from Russia) as Best Foreign Actor

Johnny Depp has been voted “Best Foreign Actor” by the Russian public four years in a row, and now he has the George Melies Awards to prove it! The photo at left shows JD being presented his awards by Kids drummer Beano Hanti on August 26, 2008, at a rehearsal studio in Florida. (Beano, who also drums for a Russian band, was on hand to accept Johnny’s awards in person last year, at the ceremony in March 2007, at which time he promised to deliver them . . . and as the photo shows, he is a man of his word.) The awards are traditional, intricately painted Russian matryoshka–the famous “nesting” dolls that have ever-smaller dolls inside, 5 in all. For the 2008 award, the committee added the words “Simply the Best” next to Johnny’s name: having won four years in a row, they have conferred this title on him “for life.” Wow!

To see a larger version of the photo, CLICK HERE. This photo was taken on Beano’s cell phone and sent to the George Melies Awards committee, much to their delight. We thank Ldinka and Belik for the photo, and Angelina for giving us so much information about the history of the George Melies awards. You can read much more about them on the Zone’s Pit forum.

The Zone extends our warmest congratulations to the incomparable Johnny Depp–“simply the best!” –Part-Time Poet

Oprah Noodlemantra's Book Club Update–Tidbits for Ernest Hemingway's A MOVEABLE FEAST begin today!

Liz and DeppInTheHeartOfTexas, the moderators of Oprah Noodlemantra’s Book Club, cordially invite you to stop by the Zone and join in our upcoming discussion of Ernest Hemingway’s classic memoir of his life in Paris in the 1920s, A Moveable Feast. Why did ONBC choose this book? Here’s Johnny Depp speaking to reporter Jeff Hayward in an interview conducted in early 2000: “When I was a kid reading Ernest Hemingway’s reminiscences of Paris in the 1920s, I thought, ‘That’s what I want to do. That’s where I want to go.’ Now I’m there and I love it.”

While a plane ticket to Paris may be an impossible dream, a virtual trip to the City of Lights is yours anytime–just stop by the ONBC forum and enjoy vintage videos of Paris, background on the Lost Generation, and mini-biographies of literary lions Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein. Tidbits begin today; the discussion of A Moveable Feast will start on October 13, 2008. Many thanks to Liz and DITHOT for their work!

By the way, that elegant book cover for A Moveable Feast is Liz’s design and features a suave Johnny Depp in the photograph: to see a larger version, CLICK HERE. Beautiful! –Part-Time Poet

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp in Arizona for NFL game, Sunday, September 14th! See new photo–

Zoners viewing today’s CBS broadcast of the National Football League game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Miami Dolphins got a shock, albeit a pleasant one, when their television screens suddenly filled with an image of Johnny Depp’s face! Oh, no–had their JDOCD escalated from admiration to hallucination? No worries: that really was Johnny Depp himself (or as the announcers referred to him, “Captain Jack Sparrow”) sitting in the stands with his son Jack and daughter Lily-Rose. The photo of Johnny at left was taken during the game, which the Cardinals won, 31-10. To see a larger version, CLICK HERE.

The Zone thanks Actislife333 for breaking the news and Cats7 for sharing the photograph. –Part-Time Poet

New Johnny Depp photo in this week's PEOPLE Magazine

This week’s issue of PEOPLE (actually, a “special double issue” dated September 22, 2008, with Sarah Palin and her children on the cover) features a picture of Johnny Depp on page 20 of its Star Tracks section. The photo shows JD during his appearance with The Kids at the Sheila Witkin Memorial Reunion Concert in Pompano Beach, Florida on Friday, August 29th. The photo is an especially nice one that features a side of JD that is not often on public display: the musician. To see a larger version of the photo, CLICK HERE. You can find a full-size scan on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Happy 5th Anniversary to Agent Sands and ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO!

Can it really be five years since the North American moviegoing public got their first look at Johnny Depp’s portrayal of the sly and always-surprising Agent Sands in Robert Rodriguez’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO? Don’t freak right out –it’s true. The film made its debut on September 12, 2003, riding the POTC wave of worldwide public interest in all things Johnny Depp. (The film was shot in 2001, but had been on the shelf awaiting release.) This might be a good time to pop ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO into the DVD player and revisit Johnny Depp’s brilliant performance. JD also wrote the theme music for his character; the soundtrack of OUATIM is a particular delight, since so many of the principal players are also musicians.

Congratulations and happy fifth anniversary to all of the talented artists who brought ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO to life! And thanks to Shadow for creating the lovely collage that celebrates Agent Sands: you can see a larger version of her artwork HERE. –Part-Time Poet

Gore Verbinski on RANGO: "Perfectly suited for Johnny Depp's extraordinary abilities"

More details emerged today about RANGO, Gore Verbinski’s first animated feature film, for which Johnny Depp will voice the title character. “The combination of Gore’s exciting vision and the talents of [screenwriter] John Logan and Johnny Depp make RANGO a great tentpole for Paramount’s 2011 slate,” said the Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures, Rob Moore. Verbinski returned the compliment, declaring, “I am tremendously excited about the support and enthusiasm we have received at Paramount.”

Regarding the synergy between his animated protagonist and the actor he chose to portray him, Verbinski said, “Rango is an oddly charismatic character that is perfectly suited for Johnny Depp’s extraordinary abilities.” As the director of the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN films, Verbinski has a proven ability to bring “oddly charismatic characters” to the screen.

“The techniques we are employing will allow us to capture and translate every aspect of Johnny’s performance, using it to drive the computer-generated character in a way that has yet to be seen in an animated feature,” Verbinski promised. “This is not a disembodied voice: Johnny Depp is Rango. We are creating something that will resonate with a broad audience and stick in the minds of kids all across the globe. The characters and circumstances are feeling buoyant and rich in humor and attitude, yet with a surprising emotional depth.”

Johnny Depp will begin work on RANGO in January 2009; the film is due in theaters in March 2011.

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the story–you can read more about RANGO on the News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp to star in Gore Verbinski's animated film RANGO for Paramount

GoreVerbinski_JDZth Pictures, Images and PhotosWhen director Gore Verbinski needed to cast the leading role in his new film RANGO, he chose Johnny Depp for the top of the bill . . . not exactly surprising, as their previous venture together, the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN trilogy, not only allowed them to develop a good working relationship but also amassed some $2.7 billion at the box office. For an encore, the intrepid duo will leave the high seas for the animation studio. Johnny Depp will supply the voice and body language for “a household pet”–according to Claudia Piller of the LA Times, a chameleon–“that goes on an adventure to discover its true self.”

Paramount will finance and distribute the feature-length animated film, rumored to carry a budget in the $150-million range. According to the LA Times, Paramount “now has a solid track record marketing and distributing big animated pictures through its deal with DreamWorks Animation.” Their recent successes include last year’s SHREK THE THIRD and this summer’s KUNG FU PANDA.

RANGO will be Gore Verbinski’s first full-length animated film, and it will feature cutting-edge technology from the wizards at Industrial Light & Magic that will “allow us to capture and translate every aspect of Johnny’s performance, using it to drive the computer-generated character in a way that has yet to be seen in an animated feature,” Verbinski told Variety. RANGO will reunite the director with another key member of the PIRATES crew: ILM’s visual effects supervisor John Knoll, who garnered an Oscar nomination for each installment of the POTC trilogy, and took home the award in 2007. “ILM previously worked with Verbinski to create the octopus-faced Davy Jones character played by Bill Nighy in the PIRATES pics,” notes Variety; it will be intriguing to see what they design for RANGO.

John Logan, whose credits include the scripts for SWEENEY TODD, THE AVIATOR, and GLADIATOR, is writing the RANGO screenplay, which is based on an idea by Verbinski. RANGO will be produced by Verbinski’s Blind Wink Productions; Graham King, whose GK Films developed the project; and John Carls.

The Zone thanks Savvypiratemonky and Emma for breaking the news; you can read more about RANGO on the News & Views forum. To see Variety’s announcement of the project, CLICK HERE.

Present plans have Johnny Depp reporting for work on RANGO in January 2009, with the film scheduled to bow in theaters in March 2011. The Zone sends our congratulations and best wishes to everyone involved with bringing RANGO to the big screen. –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp wins "Best Male Performance" at UK National Movie Awards; see his acceptance speech here!

Johnny Depp took top honors at the UK National Movie Awards, winning “Best Male Performance” for his role as the demented and lovelorn singing barber in Tim Burton’s SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET. Other nominees in the category included Pierce Brosnan in MAMMA MIA!, PUBLIC ENEMIES co-star Christian Bale in THE DARK KNIGHT, and Will Smith in I AM LEGEND. Although JD could not attend the awards in person, he sent a videotaped message of thanks. The photo at left shows Johnny in mid-speech: to see a larger version,CLICK HERE, and to see another photo, CLICK HERE. Many thanks to In-too-Depp for sharing her screencaps.

“I’d like to [. . .] send my apologies for not being able to be there in person to accept this very prestigious award,” Johnny Depp told the screaming crowd. “I would also like to say, first and foremost, thank you very much for voting for me. It’s unbelievably touching, and a real honor and a privilege, and I’m very proud.” After a brief pause, JD added, “As a matter of fact, if I was there, I’d like to thank every single solitary one of you, shake you by the hand, and take you out for breakfast. But I’m not there, so . . . next time. We’ll do that next time.”

We have that promise on videotape: thanks to Carasun and Inspired for sharing it, and to Jillian for breaking the news. To see the video, CLICK HERE. JD ends with a characteristically humble moment, thanking his director and longtime friend Tim Burton for “giving me the job, and not firing me, and for believing in me.” The Zone congratulates Johnny Depp on his victory; well done! –Part-Time Poet

"Silence, exile, cunning"–confirming some information about Johnny Depp's latest tattoo

08-29TattooJDZNewsblog_th Pictures, Images and Photos The Zone’s forums exploded with curious questions as soon as Johnny Depp strode on stage at the MTV Movie Awards on June 1st of this year and revealed a bold tattoo on his left arm that none of us had seen before. “Silence, exile, cunning,” it read. While we immediately speculated that the tattoo was a reference to the conclusion of James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Johnny Depp has never spoken publicly about this tattoo, so we could not confirm that speculation . . . until now.
At the meet-and-greet after the Sheila Witkin Memorial Reunion Concert in Pompano Beach, Florida on August 29th, a Zoner used her precious seconds of face-to-face time with Johnny Depp to inquire about the Silence Exile Cunning tattoo. When did JD have it done? “In December,” he told KYwoman. Johnny added, “It’s from a novel by James Joyce.” That was not news to the Zone group, who promptly replied that it was from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. They were rewarded with a “Yes, that’s right,” a pleased smile, and a chance to inspect the tattoo more closely as Johnny Depp held out his arm. We thank KYwoman for sharing her Depp moment with us. To see a full version of the Witkin concert picture above, CLICK HERE, and for a picture of JD at the meet-and-greet, CLICK HERE. –Part-Time Poet

What book is Johnny Depp currently reading? PARALLEL WORLDS, by Michio Kaku

08-29WitkinMGJDZNewsblog_th Pictures, Images and PhotosWondering how we know that Johnny Depp is currently reading Michio Kaku’s book, PARALLEL WORLDS: A JOURNEY THROUGH CREATION, HIGHER DIMENSIONS, AND THE FUTURE OF THE COSMOS? An alert Zoner had the presence of mind to ask Johnny what he was reading when she spoke to him at the meet-and-greet after the Sheila Witkin Memorial Reunion Concert on August 29th. In her post on the Zone’s ONBC Forum, Charlene explains, “I have been meaning to ask Johnny what he was reading (in order to help our wonderful moderators Liz & DeppInTheHeartofTexas) since joining the ONBC . . . but my mind always failed me at previous meets (at the DMC premiere and during the shooting of PUBLIC ENEMIES).” Fortunately, Charlene went to Florida, and the third time proved a charm: “[S]o since I had his attention, and my mind was actually working albeit it was around 3 a.m., I said something along the lines of, ‘If you don’t mind, could I ask you what you are currently reading?’ And he answered, ‘Oh . . . Parallel Worlds. It’s a bit scientific, but it’s good.’ “

Here’s a bit of what Publishers Weekly had to say about Parallel Worlds: “Well-known physicist and author Kaku tells readers [. . .] that another universe may be floating just a millimeter away on a “brane” (membrane) parallel to our own. We can’t pop our heads in and have a look around because it exists in hyperspace, beyond our four dimensions. [. . .] In his usual reader-friendly style, Kaku discusses the spooky objects conjured up from the equations of relativity and quantum physics: wormholes, black holes and the “white holes” on the other side; universes budding off from one another; and alternate quantum realities in which the 2004 elections turned out differently.”

Parallel Worlds thus seems to have an obvious connection to Rex Mundi, the Infinitum Nihil project-in-development based on the series of graphic novels by Arvid Nelson. Rex Mundi takes place in an alternate quantum reality in which history develops differently. Although the story takes place in the 1930s, in Nelson’s tale the Catholic Church still dominates Europe because Martin Luther was assassinated before the Reformation could take place.

Always up for a challenge, ONBC will discuss Parallel Worlds next spring, after Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast (next) and Gordon Dahlquist’s The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters in January. The Zone thanks Charlene for her excellent field reporting! Well done! –Part-Time Poet

New picture–a casual Johnny Depp in Fort Lauderdale for the Sheila Witkin Memorial Reunion Concerts

When Johnny Depp and his family were in Fort Lauderdale last weekend for the Sheila Witkin Memorial Reunion Concerts, they brought their home with them . . . in the form of the magnificent-and-hugeish yacht Vajoliroja, which was docked alongside a waterfront gated estate (presumably rented for the occasion). To see the 152-foot Vajoliroja at her berth, CLICK HERE, and to see a larger version of the picture of JD strolling along the walkway by the dock, CLICK HERE. The mansion in the background is currently on the market for a cool $14.9 million and no, it has not been bought by Johnny Depp, so you still have time to make your bid. Looks nice! And so does the Vajoliroja’s master.

The Zone thanks Theresa for breaking the story and Bonnie for the photos. For those wondering about the yacht’s unusual name, it is a combination of the first two letters of the first names of VAnessa, JOhnny, LIly-ROse, and JAck. Sweet! –Part-Time Poet

"A sea wall of camera phones lit up the entire venue"–an eyewitness account of Johnny Depp and the Kids onstage

For everyone who could not personally attend the Sheila Witkin Memorial Reunion Concerts at the Club Cinema in Pompano Beach, Florida, this weekend, here’s a good YouTube VIDEO that shows the Kids ripping through a cover of the Pretenders’ “Precious.” That’s Joey Malone singing lead, with Bruce Witkin on bass and Beano Hanti on drums; the fourth member with the Fender guitar you will probably recognize without an introduction. . . .

And here’s an especially good eyewitness account of the Kids on stage, written by John Linn. “After a heartfelt introduction the Kids came out to a wail of screams–many of them because the band is that good, and seeing them together is a rare treat. But also because the band’s guitarist, Johnny Depp, showed up to play with his old band. From the minute he took the stage a sea wall of camera phones lit up the entire venue, as desperate school-aged girls and even some rock hardened old dudes tried to snap pics of the Hollywood star,” writes Linn. “The cool thing was how graciously Depp and the Kids handled it.”

And how did the Hollywood star react to that sea wall of camera phones held high? Not by preening, that’s for sure. Writes Linn, “Johnny smiled wide, shook hands with some fans, but said nary a word, preferring to deliver his still-solid guitar work from a spot somewhere behind his band mates. Even though most of the eyes in the crowd were clearly on him, Johnny, looking more boyish than ever in an outsized t-shirt and a flannel clasped around his waist, somehow redirected that energy. In the end, I think people managed to get past the celebrity and focus on the Kids’ music–an unconventional mix of power pop and Costello-infused lyrics that lingered on the crowd long after the last note rang.”

Many thanks to Emma for finding that lovely bit of writing, and to John Linn for taking the time to record his thoughts so eloquently and share them with the world. To read Linn’s full review of the Witkin concert, CLICK HERE. Thanks, too, to Charlotte Depp for sharing the YouTube video. We’re in rock ‘n’ roll heaven. –Part-Time Poet

More Depp fun in Florida–the Sheila Witkin Memorial Reunion Concert, Night 2

The photo at left shows Johnny Depp on stage with the Kids last night (Saturday, August 30) for the last of this year’s Sheila Witkin Memorial Reunion Concerts in Pompano Beach, Florida. According to Zoners in attendance, the crowd at the Saturday concert was even larger than Friday night, and was considerably rowdier. Due to those conditions, there was no meet-and-greet after the show, but there was plenty of great music, lots of smiles on stage, and a very enthusiastic response from an appreciative audience that included Vanessa Paradis, Lily-Rose and Jack Depp, and numerous Depp family members and close friends. To see a larger version of the photo, CLICK HERE; the young lady in front of JD is Bruce Witkin’s daughter Veronica, who displayed her mad skills on guitar Saturday night.

The Zone thanks Anna for the photograph, and FANtasticJD, Liz, Charlene, savvypiratemonky, ThespianatHeart, Chocolat and DeboraZane for details of the evening; you can read their accounts of the concert on the Zone’s Pit forum. Here’s another CONCERT PHOTO courtesy of the Kids’ My Space page.

Many videos from the Sheila Witkin Memorial Reunion Concerts are popping up on YouTube. Here’s a particularly good brief VIDEO from the Saturday concert; the Zone thanks jdpes for sharing it with us. –Part-Time Poet